Friday, October 17, 2008

35 Babies Die in Four Days at Run-Down Hospital

AUTHORITIES have ordered a probe into the deaths of 35 newborn babies in four days at a run-down hospital in eastern India, a minister said today amid allegations of neglect.The deaths occurred due to pneumonia and septicaemia among the infants, who were all born prematurely at a large state-run hospital in West Bengal state. Officials said the 600-bed hospital lacked basic facilities, with 140 children cramped into wards with only 40 beds. "Many children are accommodated on the floor due to non-availability of beds," the state's top health official Sanchita Bakshi said. Eyewitnesses said that rodents, cats and dogs had been seen inside the children's section of the hospital. Premature babies require intensive care and are highly prone to infections. The babies were left unattended after two of the four doctors went on leave without notice, hospital superintendent Bhaskar Samanta said.

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